The Controversial Oil Deal Between Pakistan and Russia
The Ukraine-Russian war has completely altered the global economic landscape. Prices of energy have rampantly increased, embargoes have been placed upon Russia, and chaos has erupted across the world. Amidst these turbulent times, Pakistan’s economy is maybe suffering the most. To keep its foreign reserves from falling further, Pakistan must seek out discounted energy imports. A deal with Russia would most certainly be welcomed as a respite for the energy-strapped nation.
Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict: Threats & Consequences
While Saudi Arabia and Iran have always been caught in a power struggle, recent events have emboldened them to retaliate against each other. Amna Asif notes that there are several issues that prevent the two countries from coming to a consensus and aligning themselves with each other. They span the whole gamut of issues from religion to Western alliances.
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Powerplant: The Looming Radiation Disaster
Built between 1984 and 1995, Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and one of the top 10 largest power plants in the world. The plant was taken over by the Russian forces on 4th March, 2022, consequently severing its connection to the Ukrainian grid. As it is located right in the middle of the war zone, concerns of a radiation disaster have been mounting.
Pakistan-US Relations: As Fickle as the Weather
The US has had a turbulent relationship with Pakistan since the country’s independence in 1947. Over the course of 75 years, minor changes have occurred in the way bilateral exchanges are conducted between the two nations. Despite the rollercoaster relationship, the US has assisted Pakistan by providing necessary loans, humanitarian aid, and military equipment during exigent situations. Moreover, the US is a major foreign direct investor in Pakistan’s economy, and its largest export partner. However, bilateral relations between the two have been deteriorating because of scathing remarks and underhanded activities.
The Horrors of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre
The world has witnessed numerous distressing massacres and bloodshed over the centuries. However, one of the most agonizing attacks that occurred in history was the Sabra and Shatila massacre that was conducted on September 16 to September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. The victims were fleeing refugees who were attempting to escape the ethnic cleansing occurring in Palestine by Zionist militias. Instead of receiving refuge and mercy, they were attacked and killed by a right-wing Lebanese militia with the help of the Israeli army.
Operation Blue Star: The Sikh Massacre in 1984
With PM Indira Gandhi’s approval, Operation Blue Star commenced on June 1st, 1984. The aim of the operation was to dispose of the Sikhs responsible for the separatist movement – Major General Shabaig Singh and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in particular. Operation Blue Star was one of the largest operations conducted by the Indian army—and one of the worst massacres in Sikh history.
The Deadly Border Conflict Between Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan
Two former Soviet Union republics, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, have been engaged in sporadic border clashes since 2017. The most recent escalation of the conflict happened a day before the SCO Summit in Samarkand. The reason isn’t entirely clear. According to Amna Asif, it could be because of political motivations, or even disagreements on the demarcation of the territorial boundaries.
Iran’s Hijab Protest Movement 2022
Mahsa Amini was arrested and held in custody by the Gasht-e Ershad, the morality police of Iran, for not properly wearing her hijab. Amna Asif notes how Mahsa Amini’s death (caused as a result of police brutality) has triggered massive protests against the compulsory hijab law for women in Iran. Iranian authorities are still trying to contain the unshakeable hijab protest movement by deploying forces, and shutting down internet services across the country.
Insurgency in Balochistan: Then & Now
Since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, Balochistan has witnessed repeated insurgencies. Amna Asif argues that as long as the people of Balochistan are neglected and their land is exploited, the province will not see an end to the violence. The sense of betrayal and oppression felt by the Baloch will only intensify if the government of Pakistan does not devise a long-term solution to the issues faced by the province.
Will China’s Deadening Heatwaves Bring Its GDP Down?
China’s recent blistering experience with heatwaves has made it difficult for the country to resolve the energy crisis. The demand for power has escalated to unprecedented heights mainly due to the unrelenting heatwaves. Alina Minhas and Amna Asif believe that this heatwave may negatively impact crop yields and hydroelectricity generation, thus damaging the country’s GDP.
The Inching Hong Kong Economy Post-Pandemic
Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has limited natural resources and thus has invariably depended upon imports to meet its demands within the region. Its vast trade domain with countries such as Mainland China, Taiwan, and the United States is unquestionable. Seeing that Hong Kong has witnessed a comparatively slower post-pandemic economic recovery, Amna Asif notes that the US-Sino trade war and the pandemic have substantially arrested the growth of Hong Kong’s economy.
Pakistan’s Performance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games
With a total of 8 medals, including 2 gold, the 2022 Commonwealth Games was a relatively successful sporting event for Pakistan. The indomitable spirit of the 68 Pakistani athletes was reflected both in their winning and losing matches across 12 sports. Pakistan’s glorious victories in weightlifting, athletics, judo, and wrestling exceeded expectations and uplifted the people of the nation.